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Looking for Input: Enki, the Herald of Confusion


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#1 50moretrash

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:05 AM

Looking for input on the balance of this, the first 3 powers I like and are just monkey-wrenches in the investigators plans, the thing I'm unsure about is the reversal of fortunes. My thinking was that Arkham is rarely, if a game is being played responsibly, overrun. This would add a real chance of that occuring, and if the Ancient One was about to awaken, you might gain a few rounds from a favourable Terror/Doom track swap, but you'd now have to deal with keeping monsters in check to prevent the monster cap x 2 insta-awaken from happening. 

Thoughts?

 

Obfuscated Worshipers:
Dealing with the Cultist would be no problem, a quick gunshot in the night and he would be on his way. The cultist's robes fell to the ground and a snarling Hound of Tindalos faced him down instead.
Whenever you fight a Cultist, return the Cultist to the cup and draw another monster and resolve combat with that monster (even if that monster is another cultist). 
Wait, Where am I?
He stood in the middle of the Woods, the visions of sterile corridors fading quickly. This wasn't St-Mary's and those weren't doctors, he looked for a place to hide as the Sheldon gang approached.
Whenever you draw a location card, roll a D6, on 1-2 resolve the first location's text, on 3-4 resolve the second, on a 5-6 resolve the third. If the location rolled is not the location you are at, move to that location immediately. If there is an open gate on that location, you are drawn through instead of having an encounter (but are not delayed). 
Muddled Languages:
She stared at him in disbelief, her studies at Miskatonic led her to believe he was speaking ancient Sumerian, but she was far from fluent.
When trading items, the number of cards and type that will be traded must be agreed on (1 for 2, 1 for none, etc). Once the exchange is agreed upon, both players make a Lore check. If both succeed, the exchange happens. In the case of a failure, the player must shuffle all his cards belonging to the card type that was to be exchanged (if only a common card was to be exchanged, only shuffle your common items, if it was a mix, shuffle the mix). The other player must draw the items to be exchanged randomly from the shuffled pile. Note: If only one player fails the Lore check, this only effects one player, the other player must proceed with the trade normally (exchanging the agreed upon cards).
Reversal of Fortune:
The Great Old One stirred fitfully, thrashed against the bonds that kept him from our world, unleashing terror into the streets of Arkham. When he was done, strangely, he slept even more soundly than before.
Whenever a Gate Burst is drawn, the current values on the Doom and Terror track are reversed (even if this means a terror level of above 10). Keep a separate discard pile of the Allies discarded in case the tracks are reversed again. 
 
Also, looking for a name of the Herald, so far I'm thinking Enki from Babylonian mythos (namely from the confusion and muddled languages stuff) but would be open to something more anchored in Lovecraftian Lore.


#2 50moretrash

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:06 AM

Oh yeah, forgot to add into "Wait Where am I?" that if you are moved into a closed location you have an encounter there and then are moved to the street.



#3 Shining Aquas

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:34 AM

50moretrash said:

 

Looking for input on the balance of this, the first 3 powers I like and are just monkey-wrenches in the investigators plans, the thing I'm unsure about is the reversal of fortunes. My thinking was that Arkham is rarely, if a game is being played responsibly, overrun. This would add a real chance of that occuring, and if the Ancient One was about to awaken, you might gain a few rounds from a favourable Terror/Doom track swap, but you'd now have to deal with keeping monsters in check to prevent the monster cap x 2 insta-awaken from happening. 

Thoughts?

 

Obfuscated Worshipers:
Dealing with the Cultist would be no problem, a quick gunshot in the night and he would be on his way. The cultist's robes fell to the ground and a snarling Hound of Tindalos faced him down instead.
Whenever you fight a Cultist, return the Cultist to the cup and draw another monster and resolve combat with that monster (even if that monster is another cultist). 
Wait, Where am I?
He stood in the middle of the Woods, the visions of sterile corridors fading quickly. This wasn't St-Mary's and those weren't doctors, he looked for a place to hide as the Sheldon gang approached.
Whenever you draw a location card, roll a D6, on 1-2 resolve the first location's text, on 3-4 resolve the second, on a 5-6 resolve the third. If the location rolled is not the location you are at, move to that location immediately. If there is an open gate on that location, you are drawn through instead of having an encounter (but are not delayed). 
Muddled Languages:
She stared at him in disbelief, her studies at Miskatonic led her to believe he was speaking ancient Sumerian, but she was far from fluent.
When trading items, the number of cards and type that will be traded must be agreed on (1 for 2, 1 for none, etc). Once the exchange is agreed upon, both players make a Lore check. If both succeed, the exchange happens. In the case of a failure, the player must shuffle all his cards belonging to the card type that was to be exchanged (if only a common card was to be exchanged, only shuffle your common items, if it was a mix, shuffle the mix). The other player must draw the items to be exchanged randomly from the shuffled pile. Note: If only one player fails the Lore check, this only effects one player, the other player must proceed with the trade normally (exchanging the agreed upon cards).
Reversal of Fortune:
The Great Old One stirred fitfully, thrashed against the bonds that kept him from our world, unleashing terror into the streets of Arkham. When he was done, strangely, he slept even more soundly than before.
Whenever a Gate Burst is drawn, the current values on the Doom and Terror track are reversed (even if this means a terror level of above 10). Keep a separate discard pile of the Allies discarded in case the tracks are reversed again. 
 
Also, looking for a name of the Herald, so far I'm thinking Enki from Babylonian mythos (namely from the confusion and muddled languages stuff) but would be open to something more anchored in Lovecraftian Lore.

 

 

Alright, the first thing I would recommend is shoving it onto a Herald sheet in Strange Eons to see how all the text fits, because you have a ton of it.  In order for this to be readable on a Herald sheet, you might need to cut down on a lot of words or possibly remove a lot of flavor text.

Obfuscated Worshippers:

So I assume that you don't swap the cultist out until you've officially engaged it in combat, which means if you try to sneak past the cultist it means a cultist for the first pre-combat evade check.  The ability itself is fine, but it really hoses investigators that make a living sneaking past monsters.

Wait, Where am I?:

It's okay to just say "Roll a die", since the Arkham standard die is a D6 already.  The only weird issues are with Silver Twilight Lodge / Inner Sanctum, and one case up in Innsmouth with Innsmouth Jail / Jail Cell.  As it stands, its possible for people to have an Inner Sanctum encounter without a Silver Twilight Lodge membership, and there technically isn't a location called Inner Sanctum to move to (although I guess most people would just move to STL anyway).  As for the Jail Cell, it basically says that any investigator that ends in Esoteric Order or Innsmouth Jail can wind up immediately in the Jail Cell, and people in the Jail Cell might be denied encounters that would normally free them (because they have Esoteric Order or Innsmouth Jail encounters instead, sometimes).  I would probably just add "If there are only two locations, roll 1-3 and 4-6 instead."

Muddled Languages:

Okay, that's some really roundabout phrasing sir.  With the way you phrased the ability, I understand why it ended up that way, but maybe that's a sign that you should change the text for the sake of simplicity.  Might I recommend the following change: "Whenever two investigators attempt a trade, they declare the items they are trading and each make a Lore (+0) check.  For each player that fails the Lore check, they instead choose a number of new random items they own equal to the number of items they would've traded, and trade those items instead. Nothing happens to investigators that pass the Lore check. Investigators can only initiate one trade per turn."

Reversal of Fortune:

I'm afraid this ability breaks the Arkham rules, sir.  The Terror Level is a value that cannot be lowered by any means, merely prevented from raising.  Because of the nature of the ability, I don't think you can simply rephrase this one.  You probably just need to remove this ability entirely.  Sorry.

 

Overall, the effects are all thematically linked, but not very difficult.  Probably the worst part of it is the sheer amount of unpredictability, but that certainly isn't going to stop players (Arkham is all about unpredictability).  The hardest clause is definitely the cultist swapping just because they are normally hard to evade but piss easy to fight, and now they are hard to evade and ??? to fight.  People wouldn't be especially bothered by the location swapping in most cases, and occasionally it may create shortcuts for people to enter gates that are otherwise difficult to enter.  As far as the trading goes, here's how most cases will play out: I attempt to trade with someone, somebody fails a lore check, things go wrong………….just immediately initiate another trade……repeat process until everyone gets what they want eventually (doesn't even stop people with no Lore).  So, overall not too difficult and some of the abilities need to be reworded.

As far as names go, Enki is probably fine.  If you want something original, how about "Vitiatus, Overbeing of MIsdirection"


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#4 50moretrash

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:53 AM

Thanks for the input, I'll definitely take into account rephrasing for clarity as well as to see how it all fits on the Herald Card (also probably removing the flavour text, which was just fun for me to write).

The Reversal of Fortune does seem a little game breaky the more I think about it… here's what I came up with that keeps what I had in mind (dealing with the possibility of Arkham being overrun even in a well handled game as well as the illusion theme I'm trying to get across):

A Vision of Terror

 

When a Gate Burst is drawn, the Terror Track is immediately matched to the Doom Track (even if that means temporarily lowering the Terror Track) and all consequences resolved. Place a clue token on the former position and move it up accordingly if the Terror Track increases. If another Gate Burst is drawn replace the Clue Token with Terror Track token.
 
This marks the Terror Track at it's original position (and will almost never actually lower it) and it continues being raised as usual (being marked by the Clue Token) and in the Terror Vision. 
 
For the "Wait, Where am I?" ability I agree, if it's a two location area it would just be a 50/50 split (since it doesn't make sense that you could wander into the Inner Sanctum because of an illusion).


#5 50moretrash

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:53 AM

Sorry, double post, also can't seem to find the "delete post" option.

For the trading ability, I guess I could add "only one trade may be attempted between two players each turn" to make it more of a hassle? The inadvertantly being pulled through a gate could be a shortcut but could also hold up if there's already someone in the gate. The idea was that this only happened when you drawn an encounter card, so a gate crasher wouldn't be effected but then the person trying to get a Twilight Lodge membership gets pulled into the Witch House, now the players need to decide to wait it out or have the second investigator lost in time and space.

My idea was to create "mud" for the investigators to get through, bogging down experienced groups by throwing monkey wrenches into a lot of good strats (ie: camping Newspaper for Retainers, STL for IS membership, etc) and forcing combat players to deal with Cultists (instead of letting them run around for just about anybody to kill, etc).



#6 50moretrash

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:11 AM

One more thing, I am not sure whether or not  the wrong location ability should effect location encounters (with the exception of St-Mary's and Arkham Asylum), would also need help with phrasing on how to reflect that.



#7 Shining Aquas

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:29 AM

Vision of Terror:

You just plain can't lower the Terror Level for any reason, but you've got the right idea now.  I would just try switching it around.  Instead of raising the terror level up to the doom track and setting a marker to show where it reverts, why not just put a marker to indicate the "faux" terror level while keeping the actual terror level where it's at?  Put aside the number of allies needed for the revertion, close all shops that would be closed for the faux terror level (opening them again when it reverts), and simply note that Maniacs are affected by the faux terror level over the regular terror level.  Given the nature of this effect, I probably wouldn't leave it lingering for more than 1 turn at a time…unless you want to get absolutely brutal with it:

Another way to handle it is set the faux terror level higher, then every turn someone rolls a die.  On a 4-6, the faux terror level is dispersed, on a 1-3 raise the actual terror level by 1 and discard from the allies cast aside first.  If the Actual Terror level reaches the Faux Terror level, remove the faux terror marker.

 

I'm afraid the only way to make the offset trading ability work is by limiting trading to a limited amount.

I agree that the location swapping does stop strategies that involve "durdling" in place (Newpaper, especially), but I guarantee you smart players will use it to occasionally jump into gates safely where they otherwise couldn't.  Also, smart players won't put other players in bad situations by having encounters in neighborhoods where gates are already occupied (just isn't worth it).

For places like St. Mary's and the Asylum, the wording on their abilities is "instead of having an encounter here".  The best way to phrase it would be to say "before you have an encounter, roll a die to determine location (before drawing a card).  After that's been decided, the player may then choose whether they want a regular encounter or special encounter, if applicable."  Don't copy that word for word, that's just the basic idea


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#8 50moretrash

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

That makes a ton of sense, the illusion terror level isn't real so can fluctuate without impacting the core "never lower the terror level" rules. I would like it to stick around more than a turn though.

What do you think about maybe linking it with Monster Surges? When a monster surge occurs, the Terror Track gains an illusion token that is equal to say number of monsters of the board (following the surge) + current terror level. During the illusion all Terror Track effects resolve using the illusion token as a reference (close locations, create a seperate discard pile for Allies discarded by the illusion, Maniacs have their toughness increased). Add an illusion token to the gate where the monster surge occured, closing that gate will destroy the illusion. If the illusion terror track marker is at 10, mark any monsters above the monster limit with an illusion token as well.

Or something like that. Would need to hammer out the phrasing obviously.



#9 50moretrash

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

That makes a ton of sense, the illusion terror level isn't real so can fluctuate without impacting the core "never lower the terror level" rules. I would like it to stick around more than a turn though.

What do you think about maybe linking it with Monster Surges? When a monster surge occurs, the Terror Track gains an illusion token that is equal to say number of monsters of the board (following the surge) + current terror level. During the illusion all Terror Track effects resolve using the illusion token as a reference (close locations, create a seperate discard pile for Allies discarded by the illusion, Maniacs have their toughness increased). Add an illusion token to the gate where the monster surge occured, closing that gate will destroy the illusion. If the illusion terror track marker is at 10, mark any monsters above the monster limit with an illusion token as well.

Or something like that. Would need to hammer out the phrasing obviously.



#10 Shining Aquas

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 06:14 AM

I'm looking at what you wrote for Monster Surges, and while I think it's fine mechincally, I also think you shouldn't include it.

This whole "temporary" terror track is fine, but it's definitely the sort of interaction you don't want to deal with frequently as it does cause a certain amount of board disrepair.  Places are closed for inventory, allies are on vacation, and maniacs can't decide how crazy they want to be.  If this was a state Arkham was exposed to ultrafrequently, everyone in that town would be completely batshit insane.

Which isn't to say they aren't, but it's a little too much.  Having it happen on Gate Bursts is already enough.

If that doesn't deter you, at least do yourself a favor and don't set the new terror level to the number of monsters on the board specifically for monster surges.  It already works well enough for the doom track, and I don't want to think about having to set it twice (gate burst is drawn AND triggers a monster surge).


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#11 50moretrash

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 05:43 AM

Oh yeah, definitely wouldn't be two different triggers, just one or the other. So if you leave it at Gate Bursts, would you say that closing the gate of the gate burst would shut the illusion down? It would happen less often and still give the players a chance to shut it down when it goes off.






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